May 2021.

Viviona Kleynhans, from the small community of Humansdorp, in the Kouga area, is a Reading Assistant who believes in the power of literacy to transform lives. Viviona works alongside Grades 1 to 4 learners at St Patricks Primary School, which is within her very own community.

“I believe in the age old adage that says ‘today a reader, tomorrow a leader’, which I am lucky enough to put into practice, each and every day, by helping children in my community to read better and improve their chances in life,” said Viviona Kleyhans.

Viviona has been working alongside the school’s Grades 1 to 4 teachers since 2016, as part of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm Literacy and Numeracy Programme. Over this period, she has not only gained vast experience and knowledge of working with children, but has had many opportunities to witness how the power to read transforms young lives and grows self-esteem.

To-date the Literacy and Numeracy programme has drawn in nineteen youth from the wind farm’s surrounding communities to train as Reading and Literacy Assistants. A large proportion have had the opportunity to give back to their own communities, as they are able to work in local schools. This is very motivating and empowering to witness the positive difference that they can make in children’s lives each day. This approach extends beyond the classroom to other areas of child development, sometimes into the area of sports.

The Programme is particularly impactful as children are assisted individually or in small groups, according to their ability, paying particular attention to those who struggle. The Programme incorporates a number of elements, namely employment opportunities, training and resources. In addition to this, schools also receive books for reading and maths book clubs.

“We are grateful to each of the dedicated literacy and numeracy assistants that are helping to change the lives of hundreds of children in communities across the Kouga area,” explained Tsholofelo Moote, Economic Development Officer for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, which funds this project as part of its Socio-Economic Development Programme.

This forms part of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s Foundation Phase Education Programme commenced in 2016. The programme is active across fourteen primary schools, within the communities of Hankey, Patensie, Ocean View, Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp.